Antarctica Marathon 2014: Flight down to Ushuaia

Antarctica Marathon 2014: Flight down to Ushuaia

This is a review of the Aerolineas Argentineas flight down to Ushuaia and some pictures of Ushuaia. And yes our flight times changed a few times while we were in Buenos Aires.

Flight down to Ushuaia

The boat ride down to Antarctica starts in Ushuaia. It is the closest port and city to Antarctica. Most of the Antarctic cruises starts here but some originate in Punta Arenas, Chile or from South Africa or New Zealand.

The flight we took was on Aerolineas Argentinas. The group was booked on two flights, one early flight (5:30am) and another at 9:30am. I was luckily on the first group so we had to wake up around 2:30 to get our bags downstairs by 3am, have breakfast at 3am and get on the bus at 3:30am. I managed to sleep about 3 hours the night before. Others in our group couldn’t sleep so I lucked out a bit.


It was a short drive down to AEP and we checked in as a group, which took about 30 minutes. I used the airport wifi to find my delta FF number. By the time I realized that I could’ve used priority check-in due to SPG crossover rewards, I was only about 5 minutes away from checking in at the regular counter so I just stuck with it. I also figured that as such a large group and so many people online, it would make the agent feel rushed and not checked how big my carry-on was. I checked in and they didn’t ask how big my carry-on was, which was good. I got onboard just fine with it.

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We waited around for about an hour until we boarded the plane. Surprisingly, our plane was almost full. Another surprise was that it was a remote gate. Very odd for a 5:30am flight. Was there a shortage of gates at 5:30am flights at AEP?

Even though I was not near the front of the line, we all got on the same bus and I got in at the front. The bus pulled up and I was among the first to get on, so plenty of room for my bag. The overhead bins usually have enough room for my bag to take up only one space as I usually pack it to about 40L or so.

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Despite having such an early flight, we had a remote gate.

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I managed to sleep for most of the flight.

Ushuaia airport was small but sufficient. It was nicely built and had tall ceilings. The baggage claim area was quite small but enough for a large 200-seater plane.

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I took me a while to fall asleep but managed to sleep for most of the 3.5 hour flight. Once we landed, I woke up in a daze but managed to function the rest of the day without getting sleepy. Most people left their checked bags with the Marathon Tours personnel so they could get our bags on the ship. We had a separate bus drive us from the airport to the downtown area right next to the Tourist Information Centre by the shore. This was also about 100 feet from the port our ship was in.

I spent the next 6 hours or so walking around Ushuaia, having lunch, and looking for some supplies for the boat. I found a shop there that sold go-pro accessories and got a chest strap. I also got some Gatorade and some water for race day. I also got a penguin but was disappointed that none of them had any words or stitching on them.

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Here is the infamous “Fin Del Mundo” sign at Ushuaia, or the end of the world. This is the southern most city in the world.

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Here was the visitor center that offered free wifi. For those who couldn’t get a sim card in EZE, here was your last chance to use the internet before getting on a boat for 10 days. I stopped in here for an hour after I got off the ship to catch up on email.

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When we were walking around town, there seemed to be protest of somesort. No idea what it was about but they were in front of that house (seen in the second picture) for an hour and they were having lunch there.

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A few of us were here at Tia Elvira for some seafood for lunch.

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We had to be back on the bus at 3:30pm. The bus was there around 3pm so I started boarding about 3:15. There was a slight issue with the number of seats available but it wasn’t an issue for a 5 minute bus ride. The OneOcean staff collected our passports so that we can clear immigration at the dock while we boarded the ship. We boarded the ship and we were told that our bags would be placed in our rooms. I carried all of my stuff with me to make sure nothing got lost but no one lost their bags. The passports are kept in a dry bag in the ship safe so that in case anything happens to the ship, they will be dry and all in one place.


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